_65 Annual Christmas eve ride

24/12/14

Route map here

About 8 years ago, in our last year of school, me and a couple of friends decided that we were bored on Christmas eve and that we would go for a bike ride and a pub lunch, the year after I decided to do it again and to start a tradition of going for a ride every Christmas eve with some friends from around home, so here I am 8 years later (I think) with my friend Angus who is the only one who has made it to every Christmas eve ride.

We decided to go for a ride up on Hexhamshire Common and then to a pub called the Dipton Mill Inn which is rather well known in the area, we had never been and when we got there were surprised at how small it was, it was run by an old couple and was felt much like their front room with wood panel walls, a fire on to warm our feet and low ceiling, oh and it is cash only which meant we had to make a quick detour back to the cash machine to pay!

We ended up parking, unbeknown to me, right outside a good family friend of Angus who was around to kindly take a photo of us before we set off
We ended up parking, unbeknown to me, right outside a good family friend of Angus who was around to kindly take a photo of us before we set off
A mere 100m into the ride and we were already getting our feet wet with a ford crossing
A mere 100m into the ride and we were already getting our feet wet with a ford crossing
And Angus following along
And Angus following along
After a good ascent in the woods and a couple of wrong turns we emerged onto the wet and windy moors
After a good ascent in the woods and a couple of wrong turns we emerged onto the wet and windy moors
The first descent made for some hard work, the being so strong heading West meant we had to pedal down almost the whole thing
The first descent made for some hard work, the being so strong heading West meant we had to pedal down almost the whole thing
Opening the gate for Angus on the first hill
Opening the gate for Angus on the first hill
Looking back towards Hexham
Looking back towards Hexham
We were supposed to cross this ford however the large amounts of rain we had been getting recently meant it was rather high and having just started we didn't want to have freezing cold feet for the whole day. Luckily there was a footbridge a couple of hundred metres down the river
We were supposed to cross this ford however the large amounts of rain we had been getting recently meant it was rather high and having just started we didn’t want to have freezing cold feet for the whole day. Luckily there was a footbridge a couple of hundred metres down the river
Still smiling!
Wet arse and muddy teeth but still smiling!
Don't fall in
Don’t fall in
The beautiful Northumbrian scenery that is my homeland
The beautiful Northumbrian scenery that is my homeland
A quick stop above Harwood Shield as the light breaks through the clouds rather dramatically
A quick stop above Harwood Shield as the light breaks through the clouds rather dramatically
The road up from Harwood Shield to the rather spookily named Hangman Hill was especially difficult, the wind was blowing really quite strong right into our face.
The road up from Harwood Shield to the rather spookily named Hangman Hill was especially difficult, the wind was blowing really quite strong right into our face.
Luckily for the downhill section we turned off in a more North Easternly direction meaning we had the wind behind us. The descent did not have much of a gradient but my god I had fun, it was rough and rocky, it was ridiculously we but I pedalled as hard as I could and rode through every single puddle I could, jumping off every little natural mound I could find and choosing the roughest lines I could see, the whole slog around the moors was worth it just for this short section!!!
Luckily for the downhill section we turned off in a more North Easternly direction meaning we had the wind behind us. The descent did not have much of a gradient but my god I had fun, it was rough and rocky, it was ridiculously we but I pedalled as hard as I could and rode through every single puddle I could, jumping off every little natural mound I could find and choosing the roughest lines I could see, the whole slog around the moors was worth it just for this short section!!! There is one yellow spec of rain jacket among all the brown that is Angus hurtling through the river bed.
One more photo of the scenery before home
One more photo of the scenery before home
I only just fit across the bridge
I only just fit across the bridge
End of ride selfie before we headed to the pub for a meal and a pint!
End of ride selfie before we headed to the pub for a meal and a pint!

 

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